PRETORIA, President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African government delegation to Indonesia for a State visit beginning March 8, says Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe.
Briefing the media here Thursday following a fortnightly Cabinet meeting, he noted that the two countries are among the largest economies in their respective regions, and endowed with rich natural and maritime resources.
Indonesia presents a significant potential market for South African products, said Radebe. In 2015, the total volume of trade between South Africa and Indonesia was 11.7 billion Rand (about 900 million US dollars), with 2.8 billion Rand in exports from South Africa and 8.9 billion Rand worth of imports from Indonesia.
South Africa’s major exports to Indonesia include chemical wood pulp, ferrous waste, iron ore, aluminium, fruit and mechanical appliances.
At the multilateral level, South Africa and Indonesia are active members of the Group of 20 (G20), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the G77 plus China, where they work together closely to promote the ideals of South-South co-operation. They are also members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which comprises 21 coastal states of the Indian Ocean.
Against this backdrop, the State visit will preceded by the IORA Leaders’ Summit to be held in Jakarta on Monday and Tuesday, which will also commemorate IORA’s 20th anniversary. At the summit, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia will hand over the chair of IORA to South Africa, which is holding the next IORA Council of Ministers Meeting in Durban later this year.
On the regional front, President Zuma will also lead a delegation to the Extraordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Swaziland on March 18.
“The SADC continues to serve as the primary vehicle for South Africa’s foreign policy to achieve regional development and integration within our region,” Radebe said.
The summit will, among other matters, deliberate on the state of peace and security in the sub-region, with particular focus on developments in Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The leaders will also discuss the implementation of the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Plan which sets out key milestones towards regional economic integration.
South Africa, as the incoming Chair of SADC, is scheduled to host the next SADC Ordinary Summit in August 2017.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK